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AIBU to say NO to Brownies?

(53 Posts)
GraduallyGoingInsane Wed 27-Jul-11 17:04:18

Hi, I've been lurking a while, but never posted before! Be gentle with me please, I'm a newbie!

My DD4 has just got a space at the local Brownie pack - she's 8 and going into Year 4 in September. She's desperate to go of course, but I really don't want to add anything else into her schedule. So far, we do:

Monday - 1.5 hours of competitive cheerleading
Tuesday - 1.5 hours of ballet
Wednesday - 1.5 hours of competitive cheerleading
Thursday -
Friday - 2 hours of gymnastics
Saturday - 2 hours of ballet
Sunday -

Add in that she is DD4, and my other 3 all do cheerleading/gymnastics/ballet as well, that's a lot of running around. Plus DD3 is due to start Secondary this year, so I'd really like to keep our one free night sacred for homework and just general relaxing.

I have said no to Brownies - it would be on Thursdays, which is currently our only night in. I suggested she dropped one of the other activities in order to do Brownies, but you'd have thought I was threatening cutting off a limb. She is currently sulking upstairs.

Am I the meanest mummy in the world, and is Brownies REALLY worth sacrificing our only night in?!

ZZZenAgain Wed 27-Jul-11 17:06:47

no you're not mean. With 4 to drive about, you have a lot on your hands and she does a fair bit already. Any chance of a friend's mum taking them both to brownies and back and you take two to gymnastics on Friday, something like that?

Southernisle Wed 27-Jul-11 17:07:08

YANBU - if you have offered the option of dropping one activity to attend Brownies, and that's been met with a strop, that'd be end of discussion in my house.

Itsjustafleshwound Wed 27-Jul-11 17:11:17

Looking at the list of activities she is doing an awful lot of 'competitive' things - surely a bit of fellowship that Brownies offers would be a good foil to the competitiveness of the other sports??

Is there no way you could do a lift share or a compromise?? She has forever to be with her family ....

bubblesincoffee Wed 27-Jul-11 17:12:24

YABU for putting her name down for brownies in the first place and building her hopes up!

Why did you do that if you knew the only night she would be free to go is Thursday and that you want that one evening to not have to run around?

MigratingCoconuts Wed 27-Jul-11 17:12:40

dear goodness how do you stay sane???

I not only think that YANBU but i think you have to draw a line somewhere or you'll go mad and she'll become over exhausted.

ProcrastinatorGeneral Wed 27-Jul-11 17:13:31

I'd ditch the Saturday ballet personally, but I'm no fan of having weekends cluttered with such things unless they're one off type events.

You've given your daughter a reasonable choice. If she doesn't like it it is hardly your fault.

Ragwort Wed 27-Jul-11 17:13:35

You are not being mean but Brownies/Guides (or Scouts - girls can join Cubs and Scouts now) are fantastic organisations for young people. I would be pretty firm about giving up one of the other activities so that she can go to Brownies. The other things are all pretty 'active' but Brownies will give her a much more 'rounded' variety of things to do.

I have been at an organised Guide camp recently and was incredibly impressed at all these young girls, enjoying being outside/cooking on fires/teamwork etc etc - a million times better than hanging around make up counters etc ! <not saying this is what your daughter would do but you get my meaning smile>

TheProvincialLady Wed 27-Jul-11 17:15:04

YANBU for not allowing it but it does seem a bit daft that you put her name down in the first place.

Insomnia11 Wed 27-Jul-11 17:20:40

Gymnastics and ballet aren't necessarily competitive. It reads like my week when I was 8/9. Monday - Jazz, Tuesday - running club. Wednesday - Ballroom Thursday - running club Saturday - tap & ballet. I tried Brownies for a bit but it was too much along with everything else. Also found it a bit stuffy and boring.

Mine do two things each a week - dancing and swimming, otherwise it gets too expensive. I don't know if they will go to Brownies but Rainbows starts before we get home from work so that's out.

Insomnia11 Wed 27-Jul-11 17:21:28

Where we live there is a waiting list so you are advised to put their names down in case they want to go when they are older.

GeneralDreedlesNurse Wed 27-Jul-11 17:22:23

Why did you put her name down for Brownies? Surely you knew what night the group met - sounds to me like you've changed your mind, maybe?

Brownies is fun and enjoyable - and the best £2 a week I spend for an hour and a half of crafts, stories, games, friendship etc grin - all her other activities will help her get her badges whcih she can display proudly on her sash.

Asking her to make a choice is fair enough - my DDhad to sacrifice tennis for gymnastics, but as others have said can'y=t uu do a rota with the other mums who go to Brownies, there is bound to be some from your DD's class./school? That way you get to relax - no running around and she gets to be a Brownie

IslaValargeone Wed 27-Jul-11 17:23:27

Agree with what the others have said about putting her name down in the first place.
I think Brownies is a great idea considering everything else she does is competitive and physical, she'd probably benefit from everything Brownies has to offer. It wouldn't seem unreasonable to drop one of the ballet classes though?

Popbiscuit Wed 27-Jul-11 17:27:27

I think Brownies is fantastic for girls and I'd campaign very strongly for it too, if I was her. However, I think it's necessary to have at least ONE night free to just chill. Get school projects done, have a relaxing dinner, have a friend over to play etc., etc. Plus; a lot of those activities are quite physically taxing. The body does need a rest day here and there.

GraduallyGoingInsane Wed 27-Jul-11 17:29:09

I already lift share to cheerleading on Mondays and Wednesdays - DD4 trains from 5-6.30, DD2 and 3 from 6.30 - 8, and then DD1 from 8 - 9.30, so myself and 2 other mums alternate the drop off and pick ups so that the girls don't hang around after their sessions. The running around to Brownies isn't as big of a problem (it's only down the road really), it's more my concerns that DD4 will be overtired.

Itsjustafleshwound/Ragwort, I think she would benefit from a nice, calm and organised thing like Brownies too, but she loves her activities at the moment. The gymnastics and cheer are linked, and she loves competing. She's a mad child, always throwing herself around. I suspect ballet isn't as much her 'thing', but she refuses to drop it for now.

I admit it was daft to put her name down in the first place - optimism over experience. In my head, I am super ninja mummy, able to be in 5 places at once. In reality...I'm not.

I wish I'd never told her she'd got the bloody place - but I wanted to give her the choice to drop something else if she really wanted to go.

Butterbur Wed 27-Jul-11 17:30:23

Round here you virtually have to put your daughter's name down for Brownies at birth, to stand a chance of your name coming to the top of the waiting list at the right age. It's impossible to tell in advance if your baby/toddler will actually want to do it.

Scouts/Beavers is the same.

MigratingCoconuts Wed 27-Jul-11 17:33:19

In my head, I am super ninja mummy, able to be in 5 places at once. In reality...I'm not

Me too! grin

GeneralDreedlesNurse Wed 27-Jul-11 17:33:24

I suppose the crux is what do you do on a Thursday - is it family time. eg all sit down for meal together or do an activity as a family? Or is it veg out in front of the TV and nag nag nag til homwork/chores are done and it's bedtime?

Also will your DD4 feel hard dome to - did her siblings have to make choices aor do they do the activities they want?

Punkatheart Wed 27-Jul-11 17:34:27

Blimey, I am tired reading that list!

But you gave her an option and she has chosen not to compromise. So really, that should be the end of the discussion. You will of course have to tell the brownies that you are not taking a place. (Ex brownie leader here)

Ask her again and tell her the outcome.

Personally I think brownies is very relaxing....I also love the sound of '..a mad child, throwing herself around' as I have a teenager who hardly moves and does not want to do anything. Sigh.

spiderpig8 Wed 27-Jul-11 17:43:46

It's a pity she can't drop one of teh others to do Brownies as it is something completely different.
Does she really love cheerleading it seems such a 'made up' sport to me!

DontCallMeBaby Wed 27-Jul-11 17:45:01

YANBU. DD, at 6, was doing Rainbows, trampolining, ballet (all after school) and swimming (Saturday morning). She had a try-out at gymnastics, and wanted to do that - she wanted to add it to everything else, DH was happy for that to happen, but I'm the one who does the ferrying about (and this is only for one child!) and didn't think it was doable. She had the choice of dropping ballet or trampolining, and it was AGONY. She made all her friends refer to ballet as 'b' for months so as not to upset her (little madame) and averted her eyes from the ballet venue on her way to gymnastics ... She seems to be over it (has just done a ballet routine with me ready for Camp Bestival this weekend, without coming over all teary-eyed), so I have no regrets - even though she's since lost her Rainbows place and is back in waiting-list-no-man's-land for Brownies.

spiderpig8 Wed 27-Jul-11 17:45:03

having said that my Y1 does 5.5 hours gymnastics, 1 hour cheer and 2 hours ballet a week but she will definitely do Brownies when she turns 7.

GraduallyGoingInsane Wed 27-Jul-11 17:47:28

GeneralDreedlesNurse - Thursday tends to be catch up on homework for the older two, DD3 and 4 usually crash out in front of the TV (BAD mother). We do all have dinner together though.

DD1 did do Brownies - she didn't start cheerleading until she was in Year 7 so only had ballet and gymnastics on, and DD2 tried and loathed Brownies (she's incredibly shy), so only lasted a couple of weeks (again, she wasn't cheerleading until older). DD3 never did Brownies, nor wanted to.

Punkatheart - I love the idea of a non-moving child! All 4 of mine throw themselves around constantly - DD2 is slightly less mental than the other 3, but my children largely resemble a barrel of monkeys. It's exhausting.

GraduallyGoingInsane Wed 27-Jul-11 17:51:51

spiderpig8 - I agree that cheerleading can be rubbish - I'm not a fan of the pom pom style. However, my DDs are in a fantastic allstar programme - it really is a sport - the stuff they do is along these lines - lots of flips and tumbling and stunts:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=YM0_6RPXFgo

(NB, I linked a random squad so as to keep my DDs squad identity concealed)

Punkatheart Wed 27-Jul-11 17:53:05

Trust me - you will look back on your barrel of monkeys and sigh. They sound fun but yes, exhausting. Wearing them out - I mean keeping them busy - sounds the best plan.

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